By Bracha Shor—Sweet and Good Catering
A bread bowl is bread shaped into a "bowl"-like container. If ever you have extra challah, you can shape it into a sphere and use that (if you don't want to make a new recipe).
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
3 cups warm water (water can be heated up in a microwave, or you can just use warm water from the tap)
2 Tbsp sugar (I add an extra tablespoon (or two!) of sugar, because I like my bread sweeter)
2 tsp salt
6½ - 7½ cups bread flour
1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water (if the water is hot to touch, it could kill the yeast). Set aside to see if the yeast bubbles. The goal is to make sure the yeast is still alive (so you'll see bubbles) before making your bread.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups of flour. Mix by hand or in a mixer. Then start adding more flour, 1 cup at a time, to form a soft dough (so the dough will still be sticky).
3. Turn out the dough on a floured surface, and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough will become smooth and elastic. Once that happens, put the dough in a greased bowl, and use cooking spray to spray the top of the dough, then cover with a moist (not dripping wet) kitchen towel. The greasing of the bowl and the top of the dough stop the dough from sticking and a crust from forming. The moist kitchen towel helps the rising process. Leave in a warm place until doubled (about 30 minutes). If no warm place exists, I turn my oven on to 200° F, then turn off the oven, and leave the bowl on top of the stove.
4. Preheat oven to 500° F. Divide the dough into 6 balls, and place them 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Cover again with a moist towel, and let dough balls double again in size in a warm area (close to the stove should do it).
5. Bake dough balls for 2 minutes at 500° F, then reduce the oven temperature to 425°, and bake an additional 16-18 minutes, until golden.
6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Then slice the top off the "bowls" and hollow out the insides until you have about 1 inch left. You can then bake the "bowls" again so that the insides get a little crunchy and hold the soup even better, or you can serve as is.